Nook Open for Business
Traders at a South Tyneside shopping area are urging members of the public to show their support and shop local.
Retailers at The Nook, in South Shields, are reassuring customers that they are once again open for business as lockdown restrictions ease.
As with all the main shopping areas in the Borough, South Tyneside Council has been working with business owners to ensure that people can shop safely and in line with government social distancing guidance.
Measures including new signage, handwash and sanitiser stations have been installed in all main retail areas.
At The Nook, some parking spaces have had to be temporarily suspended to create the additional space required to accommodate the two-metre rule.
Michelle Caywood, who owns Munchies and is a member of the The Nook Traders' Association, said: "We understand and appreciate that the social distancing measures have to be in place.
"All our customers so far have been very respectful of that and I am relieved to say we have been busy since we reopened.
"Some of the parking spaces are coned off and we don't want potential customers to think the shops are closed.
"A lot of businesses have reopened this week and are waiting to welcome people. It's been a really tough, worrying few months with no income so we'd just ask people to show their support for local shops."
Non-essential retail businesses have been able to reopen from this week as part of government plans to restart local economies.
A spokesman for South Tyneside Council said: "Coronavirus has obviously had a huge impact on our businesses and we're keen to support them and help them bounce back.
"We've been working with our traders to ensure that their customers can shop in confidence.
"While some of the measures in place aren't ideal and we are all keen to return to some kind of normality, we all have a duty to help prevent further spread of the virus.
"We will be monitoring the parking situation at The Nook on an ongoing basis and in the meantime, we'd encourage residents to support local retailers and help them on the road to recovery."